5 Miraculous Reasons To Have a Miracle Moringa Tree

By Dr. Liza Westerfield | Sustainable Living, Urban Agriculture, Urban Farming

Born in the forests of an ancient world, Moringa olifera, also known as the Moringa tree, has developed a privileged reputation, its leaf serving as one of the most nutritious and versatile herbs known to modern man. Its easy growing characteristics, abundance of essential nutrients, and practical benefits serve as something of a miracle. Below is a short primer to growing, eating, and generally benefiting from Moringa.

How to Grow a Moringa Tree

Outdoors: In agricultural zone nine, located in and around temperate regions like central California and Florida, the Moringa tree leaves most of the year. Its seed pods grow in the late spring and summer.  It can tolerate poor soils, but will not survive frost. It’s recommended to grow this tree in full Sun.

Indoor: Moringa makes a lovely potted and pruned indoor tree even in cold places like northern Canada.  It would do particularly well in a pot with moist, well-drained soil. However, keep in mind that it needs a lot of light to fully flourish.

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Ways to Eat Moringa

  • Leaves can be eaten raw and taste like a combination of spinach and watercress. Cooked leaves taste like nutty spinach.  The foliage can be dried and ground into a very nutritious greens supplement that can be easily added to food and smoothies.
  • Young seed pods can be cooked many ways and the seeds are edible.
  • Cooked flowers taste like mushrooms, but should be avoided by pregnant mothers.
  • Their fruits taste like asparagus.
  • Roots can be made into a condiment that tastes like horseradish but is difficult to process (and can be toxic if not handled properly).

Below are the five miraculous reasons everyone should have a miracle Moringa tree. Once you grow this tree, you’ll want to keep it forever!

1.  Super Easy and Fast to Grow

The Moringa tree, sometimes referred to as simply the Miracle Tree, grows very fast, even in poor soils. In warm climates, it can grow up to 20 feet per year! If the region isn’t prone to hard freezes, this tree requires constant pruning and a once-per-year cutback to the stump.  If it does freeze where you live, consider it an annual tree and replant one each year from the seed. Moringa makes a great windbreak or living fence in any climate. In just a few months the seed will turn into over four feet of plant growth, and with many leaves!

2.  High in Complete Protein and Iron

Moringa is the most nutritious leaf crop in the world. The leaves have four times more antioxidants than spinach and carrots and seven times the vitamin C content of oranges. Its protein and iron content is unusually high for the plant kingdom, with the protein containing all eight essential amino acids.

3.  Reduces Inflammation and Pain

Moringa has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat rheumatoid and arthritis conditions.  It contains high levels of the unusual phytochemicals zeatin, quercetin, sitosterol, and caffeoylquinic acid. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Scientific Innovation showed a significant reduction in inflammation from a Moringa leaf extract.

4.  90% Edible

Everything on this plant can be eaten except the wood.  Bark, stems, leaves, roots and seeds can be eaten and the wood pulp can be used to make paper.

You can also make cooking oil from the Moringa seeds! Yes, you read that right. This oil can also be used to make soap. The fresh, soft seeds are broken into pieces and heated with water, then pressed to extract the oil.

5.  Turns Puddle Water into Drinkable Water

The crushed up seeds can filter pond water!  Called a “flocculent,” Moringa seeds will settle out particulates, such as mud and algae, from murky water that can then be filtered through a sand filter, boiled and ingested.

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A Moringa tree grows tall in the summer time. Image via PHG.

Where to Start

Seeds are readily available online. A quick online search will yield many sources to start your Miracle Tree garden.

Starting from seed:  Moringa seeds germinate at temperatures around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The seeds will grow into plants after about two weeks in the ground. Be cautious not to over-water the seeds because they could rot. One way to do this is to soak the seeds in water for around twenty-four hours. By doing this you’ll let the seeds absorb moisture for sprouting. After the twenty-four hour soaking period, you can remove the seeds and place them in the ground. One centimeter beneath the surface is good enough.

Meal Suggestions

While eating the leaves raw or as an herb addition in a salad may taste quite good to begin with, there are many more creative ways to prepare and eat Moringa.

Moringa Bake – make lasagna or any casserole and use Moringa leaves liberally in the recipe.

Smoothies – blend fresh or dried leaves to a veggie smoothie to add a nutritious boost.

Pesto – mix half Moringa leaves and half basil with roasted walnuts and pine nuts.

I hope by now I’ve convinced you of the many amazing benefits and uses of the Moringa tree. With all the information now gained, what are you waiting for? Start growing and experiencing the great miracles of Moringa today!

Featured Image: Healthy Leaves of a Miracle Moringa Tree. Image via PowerHouse Growers. 

About The Author

Dr. Liza Westerfield holds a PhD in Holistic Nutrition and a Bachelor’s degree in Organic Agriculture from the University of Georgia. She worked as the Curator of Desert Plants at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and spent over two decades as an insider in the vitamin industry. Liza is the author of 10-Days to Smoothie Away Pain, and an expert in natural healing and alternative therapies for treating inflammation and pain. In her spare time Liza can be found with her husband and toddler son exploring organic farmer’s markets, hiking, gardening and planning her next adventure. www.drwesterfield.com